"We're not afraid to stand together, to be able to stand against violence and promote nonviolence," Leslie Meyers, 44, told The New York Times.
The rally comes after last weekend's attack at a Hanukkah party in Monsey, New York, where five people were stabbed at a rabbi's home.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo attended the event. The governor told WCBS he was "heartened to see this amazing show of support and solidarity."
Cuomo told the crowd at the rally he planned to propose legislation that would label hate crimes as domestic terrorism, the television station reported.
“These are terrorists and it should be punished as such,” Cuomo said. “While we’re here today in the spirit of solidarity and love, government must do more than just offer thoughts and prayers. Government must act."
At the rally, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced a proposal to increase federal funding to protect houses of worship from hate crimes, the Times reported.
Anti-Semitic hate crimes in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are close to hitting an 18-year high, the Times reported, citing an upcoming report from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.